Tuesday, April 11, 2017

John Irving - Irwin Shaw

John Irving by Kubik 04
John Irving
John Irving is most famously know for writing "The World According to Garp" which was made in a well known, well received movie by the same name in 1978. John Irving is one of the few writers who became wealthy. This movie pushed his writing in front of a much larger audience.

I read the book in that being in my early twenties, I was keen on popular culture. I jogged, I worked out, I went to night clubs, and tried to experience it all in my Southern Baptist mindset which didn't include the sex, drugs but did include the rock and roll. So my left eyebrow goes up a little when I read how defiant people claim they were.

John Irving would not normally be in my list of favorite authors. But I did enjoy his book called the "Cider House Rules" which was made into a movie. The two books I read by John Irving were unusual in that I watched the movie first which is always preferable. Movie quality declines after you've read a book, think the movie Dune.

I plan to read one of John Irving's more recent books. "The Cider House Rules" dealt with the morally complex topic of abortion. Ironically, fifty years after the historic Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973 that legalized abortion, abortion is more controversial than 1985 when the book was written.
Irwin Shaw (1948)
Irwin Shaw - 1948


Irwin Shaw wrote the Rich Man, Poor Man series. His stories are exceptional if you want a good read. Known more for his short stories and as a playwright, his commercial work sometimes shadows what a great literary writer he was.

Irwin Shaw, a World War II veteran, was blacklisted during the McCarthy era by the House Committee of Un-American Activity for signing a petition asking the Supreme Court to review "Contempt of Congress" convictions of John Howard Lawson and  Dalton Trumbo. Irwin Shaw lived in Europe from 1951 until 1976 due to being branded a Communist. He was a World War II hero and a hero for standing up for someone and paying the price for it.

His book Rich Man, Poor Man was published in 1970 and made into a mini-series in 1976.






14 comments:

  1. Irving's The Hotel New Hampshire is also one of my favorites. The movie is not bad either. Stars Jodie Foster among other notable names.

    I is for Illuminati

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    1. That is good to know. I was going to read one of his later books on the premise that a writer develops their craft. With my tbr list quite long, I have to get choosy. lol

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  2. I haven't read any thing by Irving in a long time, but A Widow for One Year happens to be in my reading pile at the moment. You may have just bumped it up higher to the top. Since it's been so long since I've read The Cider House Rules, perhaps I'll view the movie to get in the Irving mood before tackling Widow.

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    1. Just doing this blog, I've added to my to be read pile. It is quite enormous. I think I might read A Widow for one Year.

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  3. I did read A Widow for One Year years ago; I can't remember if I liked it or not. I did see Cider House Rules, but didn't read the book.

    betty

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    1. Irving It has a quirkiness and heavy handedness that can be off-putting. I did not care for "The World According to Garp". I'm reading one more to make up my mind about him as a writer. I know that last statement is pretentious. It is just how I feel.

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  4. Saw quite a few of Irving's books in movie form, that counts, right?

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  5. I read The World According to Garp (weird book, weirder movie) and watched Cider House Rules, which I thought was very good. Irving certainly has an interesting mind!

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  6. I had read cider house and garp, a great author. I am sure I have read more.

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  7. I haven't read the The World According to Garp, but I vaguely remember the movie. Always nice to hear when an author does good for himself.
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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  8. I more enjoyed learning more about the man!
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  9. I haven't read Garp or even seen the movie, but I did read and see The Hotel New Hampshire in the early 90s. Perhaps Garp will be on my reading list.

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  10. Hi Ann - I haven't read or seen (that I remember) any of these - though I know quite a bit about them - the authors and their penmanship ... I went to South Africa in 1978 ... thanks for reminding me about them ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/j-is-for-jellicles.html

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